Shinji Sasaoka replaces Koichi Ogata as Hiroshima Carp manager

The Hiroshima Carp announced on October 1 that Koichi Ogata was stepping down as manager because of the team’s performance this season (a failure to win a fourth pennant in a row and a failure to win the organization’s first Nippon Series since 1984). The Carp held a press conference on October 7 to introduce Shinji Sasaoka as their new manager. Sasaoka first joined Hiroshima’s staff as a Ni-gun pitching coach in 2014. He was reassigned to Ichi-gun pitching coach this year.

Source: Hiroshima 10/1/2019, Hiroshima 10/7/2019


Hiroshima gets Tsubasa Aizawa to stay with three-year deal

Thirty-one-year-old catcher Tsubasa Aizawa held a press conference at Mazda Stadium on Thursday (October 10) and announced that he will remain with the Hiroshima Carp and will not exercise the free agent option he earned this season. According to media reports, he agreed to a three-year deal that could be worth around 600 million yen (up from the estimated 92 million he made this year).

Source: Hiroshima 10/10/2019, Nikkan Sports 10/10/2019, Sports Hochi 10/10/2019, Tokyo Sports 10/10/2019


Michihiro Ogasawara returns to Nippon Ham as head coach / hitting coach

The Nippon Ham Fighters announced on Wednesday (October 9) that Michihiro Ogasawara was returning to the organization as a head coach / hitting coach. They held a press conference for him in Sapporo on Thursday (October 10).

Ogasawara started his professional career with the Fighters in 1997. Wanting to be closer to his family, he exercised his free agent option after the 2006 season and signed with the Yomiuri Giants. He spent the last two years of his active playing career with the Chunichi Dragons. After retirement, he remained with the Dragons’ organization as a Ni-gun manager.

Source: Nippon Ham 10/9/2019, Nippon Ham 10/10/2019, Nikkan Sports 10/10/2019, Jiji Press 10/10/2019, Sanspo 10/10/2019

One Comment

Hanshin’s Yoshio Itoi has surgery on left ankle

The Hanshin Tigers announced that Yoshio Itoi was discharged from a hospital in Tokyo on Wednesday (October 9) after having surgery to clean and reinforce his left ankle. Itoi hurt the ankle when he attempted to steal second during a game against Hiroshima at Kyocera Dome on August 9. He was taken off the active roster the following day and had been rehabbing the ankle at the Naruohama facilities with the hopes of making a return without surgery.

Source: Hanshin 10/10/2019, Nikkan Sports 10/10/2019, Sponichi 10/10/2019, ZakZak 10/10/2019


Lotte’s Keita Watanabe has right elbow cleaned out

The Chiba Lotte Marines announced on Thursday (October 10) that Keita Watanabe had surgery to clean his right elbow at a hospital in Yokohama. Assuming no setbacks, he should be able to start throwing after about two months.

Watanabe did not make any appearances at Ichi-gun this season. He pitched in twenty-five games at Ni-gun and recorded a 2.55 ERA over 24.2 innings of work.

Source: Lotte 10/10/2019, Sanspo 10/10/2019, Nikkan Sports 10/10/2019, Jiji Press 10/10/2019


Rakuten Eagles’ Motohiro Shima likely headed to new team

The media is reporting that there is a good chance thirty-four-year-old catcher Motohiro Shima will be leaving the Rakuten Eagles. General manager Kazuhisa Ishii told reporters that the organization had no choice but to make a low offer based on performance and, perhaps more importantly, would be unable to provide the veteran with an opportunity to become an everyday player. If Shima does end up leaving the Tohoku region, the Eagles are hoping he will consider a return as coach when he retires.

Shima was limited to a career low fifty-seven games this season due to lower back pain and a decision to go with younger players.

Source: Sponichi 10/7/2019, Nikkan Sports 10/7/2019, Daily Sports 10/7/2019, Sports Hochi 10/7/2019

One Comment

Yokohama Bay Stars okay with posting Yoshitomo Tsutsugo

According to a number of media sources, Yokohama Bay Stars team representative Kazuaki Mihara accepted twenty-seven-year-old Yoshitomo Tsutsugo’s wish to play in the Majors and are open to posting him during the upcoming off-season. Mihara reportedly wants to help Tsutsugo attain his dream of going to the MLB.

In ten seasons with the Bay Stars, Tsutsugo belted 205 home runs, drove in 613 RBI, and recorded a slash line of .285/.382/.528 over 968 games and 3,426 at bats. His best year came in 2016 when he hit 44 home runs, notched 110 RBI, and ended with a .322/.680/.430 slash line.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/7/2019, Sponichi 10/7/2019, Sports Hochi 10/7/2019, NHK 10/7/2019, Daily Sports 10/7/2019, Daily Sports 10/7/2019


[3/25/2019] Akira Nakamura diagnosed with dysautonomia

Akira Nakamura had been making his way back from a right oblique contusion when he was also diagnosed with dysautonomia. He is getting rest at home and treatment at a hospital. It is uncertain how much time he will need for a full recovery.

Source: Tokyo Sports 3/23/2019, Nikkan Sports 3/23/2019, Sports Hochi 3/23/2019, Sanspo 3/23/2019, Daily Sports 3/23/2019, Sponichi 3/23/2019


[3/22/2019] Rakuten Eagles add Luis Jimenez to seventy-man roster

The Rakuten Eagles announced that they added Luis Jimenez to their seventy-man roster. His uniform number will change from 124 to 99.

Source: Rakuten 3/22/2019, Sponichi 3/22/2019, Daily Sports 3/22/2019, Sports Hochi 3/22/2019


[3/22/2019] Nick Martinez diagnosed with strain in forearm

Nick Martinez developed some discomfort in his right arm while pitching in a Ni-gun game against Yakult on March 20. The Nippon Ham Fighters announced on March 22 that Martinez was examined at a hospital in Sapporo and diagnosed with a strain in his right forearm flexor (first degree).

Martinez’s right arm will be shut down for two weeks and might require about four weeks for a full recovery.

Source: Nippon Ham 3/22/2019, Jiji 3/22/2019, Nikkan Sports 3/22/2019, Daily Sports 3/22/2019